Founded in 1793 as the Hamilton-Oneida Academy and chartered in 1812, Hamilton College is the third oldest college established in New York State. The 1,350-acre campus is situated on a hilltop overlooking the picturesque village of Clinton, New York. The College is eight miles southwest of Utica, 45 minutes east of Syracuse, one hour from the Adirondack Park to the northeast, and 90 minutes west of Albany. Hamilton College is a national leader in teaching students to write effectively, to learn from one another, and to think for themselves. Enrollment on the residential campus is just under 2000, and students hail from 47 states and 49 countries, studying in 43 degree programs and an open curriculum, allowing students the freedom to choose courses that reflect broad interests distributed across the liberal arts.

 

The Position

Position Description

Hamilton College seeks an innovative leader to direct the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment that supports strategic leadership, builds a data-informed institutional culture, and leads institutional assessment. The work of the office is guided by the principles of integrity, inclusivity, curiosity, rigor, collaboration, and continual improvement. Reporting to the Vice President of Libraries and Information Technology, the Director serves as an advisor to senior leadership by anticipating questions and helping guide and support ethical and informed institutional decision making; developing models, data reporting, and providing general data support for key college functions such as communications, enrollment, college advancement, finances, human resources, academics, etc., that employ comparative data, historic trends, demographics, and other variables; leading campus data governance with a disciplined focus on developing defined data, reporting, usage, and access standards to support operations throughout the college; partnering with faculty to support data-driven academic research and scholarship; and leading college-wide strategy and protocol around data gathering activities, including surveys, data sharing among information systems and offices, etc. Additional responsibilities include overseeing the preparation and maintenance of an institutional research website containing data reports designed to meet the data needs of a variety of campus constituencies; providing data support for academic program review and accreditation processes; providing leadership in facilitating the use of data and metrics to help the College understand itself; and partnering with the Business Intelligence team both to streamline reporting and to make reports, survey data, assessments, etc., available through our enterprise data systems for future analysis. The Director is a member of the Library and IT Strategic Leadership team and collaborates across the division to achieve objectives.

Qualifications

A master’s degree in a related field of study and five years of full-time experience with progressively responsible supervisory and management experience in institutional research or related functional areas is required. Strong candidates will have at least three years of progressively more responsible experience in institutional research in an institution of higher learning or similar setting, with experience managing professional staff. In-depth knowledge and demonstrated competency in working with relational database systems is essential, as well as familiarity with querying databases using SQL or other programming knowledge. A working knowledge of data warehouse, data governance, and business intelligence concepts and principles is expected. Candidates should also possess excellent verbal, presentation, and written communication skills, as well as highly developed organizational and leadership skills.

The ideal candidate will possess both the capacity to understand how data systems interact with multiple institutional functions, and the managerial expertise to collaboratively devise solutions to meet multiple needs. In addition to an unwavering commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, the incumbent will:

  • Demonstrate a sophisticated understanding of effective, appropriate, and rigorous institutional research and assessment in the current higher education context;
  • Be flexible, intellectually curious, and able to manage details and big ideas concurrently;
  • Be open to diverse opinions, yet also be decisive.
  • Have the ability to achieve stellar outcomes through collaboration and partnership rather than direct authority;
  • Have the ability to collect and analyze data, to build effective partnerships, and collaborate across the institution to help forge the consensus needed to advance the College’s mission;
  • Experience managing cross-organizational projects with high level stakeholders and indirect authority; experience with Agile Project Management is a plus;
  • Have proven skills in working with senior leadership, while demonstrating integrity, credibility, sound judgment, and tact;
  • Have the ability to translate data analysis into usable information for decision-making and policy analysis;
  • Be skilled in best practices using technology for data analysis and communicating results;
  • Demonstrate knowledge of research design, sampling, predictive modeling, report creation, data science, and analytical/statistical platforms;
  • Have experience producing reporting and data files needed for common higher education requirements and consortiums (e.g., IPEDS);
  • Understand technologies related to reporting automation, data visualization, and related cloud software; and
  • Have experience with Tableau or similar data visualization software.

In addition to the above stated qualifications, stakeholders at Hamilton identified the following as important characteristics for the successful candidate:

  • Very strong communication skills and a desire to be highly collaborative with all Hamilton constituents;
  • A desire to be proactive in the building of coalitions and to respond positively and on a timely basis to requests for data and reports;
  • A sophisticated understanding and the political savvy to really talk through requests for data and research from individuals and departments;
  • An enthusiastic leader who can spread the enthusiasm for data gathering and analysis, converse with colleagues about their data requests, and assist them in determining how best to tell the story they are trying to tell with their data;
  • An active learner and listener who is curious;
  • A transparent leader who will collaborate with all constituents to tell the Hamilton story by asking, “How can we support student success?”
  • A proactive and curious  manager with a “30,000 foot view,” who will assist colleagues with forecasting and predictive modeling; and
  • A leader who is actively engaged in professional organizations, who will serve as a mentor to staff members in their professional engagement and development.

History of the Position

The former leader for the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment, who served as the inaugural director, retired in July 2020, having served in that role for nearly 16 years. Under the leadership of Joe Shelley, the Office of Institutional Research and Assessment was added to the Library and Information Technology Services portfolio to better align with institutional strategic priorities seeking to improve institutional effectiveness and enhancing information systems to aggregate, analyze, and foster data-informed decision-making and planning at all levels and across all divisions of the College. Collaboration on data governance and business intelligence concepts continues to be a priority for this position. With the Middle States ten-year reaccreditation visit in 2021, institutional stakeholders are keenly invested in the process for the selection of the next Director.

Likely Opportunities, Priorities, and Challenges of the Position

Hamilton College is a mission-driven institution, and one in which faculty and staff are relationship builders, so it will be critical to find an individual who has an affinity for relationship building, clear and positive communication, and a desire to be highly collaborative and transparent with all constituents. A strong manager who can supervise and mentor staff and build the reputation of the office will do well to listen carefully and to be humble and authentic as well as open to learning the Hamilton ways. It was articulated by several stakeholders that this key position will require a keen ability to prioritize projects and initiatives where “everything is urgent” and be able to respond thoughtfully and with savvy; extensive knowledge in data analysis and reporting; and a modern orientation to institutional research will be necessary to move the office beyond traditional static data reporting, to one where dynamic data is pulled from continuously updated sources, automating reporting in a responsible self-service model. The director should be a visionary who reaches out to the greater Hamilton community, one who is a strategic thinker and manager who has the ability to connect people and to connect the data with an approach that is welcoming and confident in order to coach the constituents on how to research, understand, and use data to inform decision making. The next director should be excited to use enterprise level tools for analysis and able to bring a sense of creativity and optimism to find answers to complex problems.

Overview: Library and Information Technology Services (LITS)

Joe Shelley, Vice President for Libraries and Information Technology

Joe Shelley became the College’s vice president for libraries and information technology in 2017. He most recently served as assistant vice chancellor and CIO, information technologies, at the University of Washington Bothell. Shelley was awarded a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary arts and sciences, global studies, from UW Bothell in 2004. He received a graduate certificate in educational technology from Michigan State University in 2015, and a master’s degree in educational technology, also from Michigan State in 2018. He is a frequent presenter at EDUCAUSE, including participation at the organization’s Leadership Institute in 2013.

Mission

The mission of LITS is to empower all members of the Hamilton Community to use information and technologies to engage in intellectual exploration, make informed decisions, and create and share knowledge.

Members of LITS help build connections between the Hamilton Community (faculty, staff, students, prospective students, parents, alumni, etc.) and the information and technology resources they need to succeed in their lives.

We partner with members of our community to understand their needs, share ideas, solve problems, discover and evaluate options, explore directions, experiment with and implement new approaches, and plan for the future.

We provide comprehensive, convenient, and accurate services, delivered in a timely, responsive, and courteous manner.

We acquire, license, organize, make accessible, and maintain the information, hardware, software, systems, collections, and spaces that our community uses, and provide secure access to these resources.

  • Acquisitions
  • Audiovisual Services
  • Business Intelligence and Web Services
  • Cataloging
  • Central Information Services
  • Interlibrary Loan
  • IT Help Desk
  • Jazz Archives
  • Library Access Services
  • Circulation and Reserves
  • College Archives
  • Computer Repair (CCNY Tech)
  • Desktop Integration Services
  • Institutional Research and Assessment
  • Metadata & Digital Strategies
  • Research & Instructional Design
  • Special Collections

Organizational Chart

Overview: Institutional Research and Assessment Department

The Office of Institutional Research and Assessment is responsible for collecting, organizing, analyzing, and reporting historical and current data about Hamilton College and peer institutions to support college planning, assessment, and overall effectiveness. Reporting to the director is an assistant director of institutional research and assessment.

Institution & Location

Institutional Background

Founded more than 200 years ago in 1793 as the Hamilton-Oneida Academy and chartered in

1812, Hamilton College is the third oldest college to be established in New York State. Hamilton is both a traditional four-year residential, small liberal arts college (organized in academic departments and interdisciplinary programs) and a progressive institution, providing internships, experiential learning, career exploration, and leadership opportunities to extend the teaching mission. Two thirds of Hamilton students study abroad, most often during the junior year. Hamilton College is a national leader in teaching students to write effectively, to learn from one another, and to think for themselves.

Hamilton College prepares students for lives of meaning, purpose, and active citizenship. Guided by the motto “Know Thyself,” the College emphasizes intellectual growth, flexibility, and collaboration in a residential, academic community. Hamilton students learn to think independently, embrace difference, write and speak persuasively, and engage issues ethically and creatively. One of America’s first liberal arts colleges, Hamilton enables its students to effect positive change in the world.

Hamilton promises to assist students in creating a program of study that meets their individual interests and goals through its open curriculum. Hamilton is one of the few U.S. colleges with an open curriculum, which means students have the freedom to choose courses that reflect their interests, while still fulfilling the faculty’s expectation that they study broadly across the liberal arts. Hamilton offers 43 concentrations and 57 total areas of study. It is best suited for students who are independent, motivated, and committed to the ideals of a broad-based liberal arts education. Recognizing the increasingly diverse student body choosing Hamilton, the College commits itself both to principles of inclusive excellence in pedagogy and to the development of a four-year advising curriculum in the ALEX initiative (Advise, Learn, EXperience).

Hamilton’s 1,350-acre campus is situated on a hilltop overlooking the picturesque village of

Clinton. The College is eight miles southwest of Utica, 45 minutes east of Syracuse, one hour from the Adirondack Park to the northeast, and 90 minutes west of Albany. The College is named after Alexander Hamilton, U.S. statesman, first secretary of the U.S. Treasury, and member of the first Board of Trustees of the Hamilton-Oneida Academy. With just under 2,000 students, Hamilton College is highly selective, with an admissions rate under 20 percent.

Strategic Plan

The plan identifies new initiatives with the potential to transform a student’s education on College Hill. Most of these ideas will be implemented during the five-year timeframe of this plan; others will take longer. But students enrolling at Hamilton in the future will find an academic program that better prepares them for life in a world of rapid technological, demographic, and social change; a college that purposefully integrates learning inside and outside the classroom; a more robust, coordinated, and expansive experiential learning program; a more diverse and inclusive campus; and a community with greater opportunities for intellectual engagement and personal growth and well-being.

“Know Thyself”: Academic Foundations

“Know Thyself”: Learning Outside the Classroom

“Know Thyself”: A Balanced Life

Learn more about the Strategic plan.

Institutional Leadership

David Wippman, President

David Wippman began his tenure as Hamilton’s 20th president on July 1, 2016. A recognized authority in international law, he has taught public international law, international criminal law, international human rights, and ethnic conflict. He received his bachelor’s degree, summa cum laude, from Princeton University in 1976, his master’s degree through a fellowship in the Graduate Program in English Literature at Yale University in 1978, and his law degree from Yale Law School in 1982. While at Yale, Wippman was the editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal. He clerked for The Honorable Wilfred Feinberg, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

 

Wippman became dean of the University of Minnesota Law School on July 1, 2008. Previously, he was a professor and associate dean at Cornell Law School and served as vice provost for international relations at Cornell University. He took a year away from Cornell to serve as a director in the National Security Council’s Office of Multilateral and Humanitarian Affairs, where he worked on war crimes issues, the International Criminal Court, economic sanctions, and U.N. political issues.

 

Before joining Cornell, Wippman practiced law for nine years in Washington, D.C., with a focus on international arbitration, political consulting on public and private international law issues, and representation of developing countries in litigation. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland. Wippman has co-authored two recently released books in international law: International Law: Norms, Actors, Process: A Problem-Oriented Approach and Can Might Make Rights?: Building the Rule of Law After Military Interventions.

Benefits Overview

Hamilton College benefits program offers:

  • Medical Insurance
  • Dental/Vision Insurance
  • Flexible Spending Accounts
  • Tuition benefits
  • Wellness Programs

Additional detailed benefits information is available here: Benefits Guidebook

Application & Nomination

Review of applications will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. To apply for this position please click on the Apply button, complete the brief application process, and upload your resume and position-specific cover letter. Nominations for this position may be emailed to Anne-Marie Kenney at amk@spelmanjohnson.com. Applicants needing reasonable accommodation to participate in the application process should contact Spelman Johnson at 413-529-2895.

Visit the Hamilton College website at www.hamilton.edu

Hamilton College is an Affirmative Action, Equal Opportunity employer and encourages diversity in all areas of the campus community.

Spelman Johnson has prepared this document based on personal interviews and information copied, compiled, or quoted in part from source documents obtained from our client institution, and as such, the contents of this document are believed to be reliable. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this information, the original source documents and factual situations govern, and the limited material presented here should be relied upon for informational purposes only.